Our Community Work

For over 25 years, we have put inclusion, accessibility and reaching out to the disenfranchised at the centre of our philosophy and work.

Our growing community programme, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, provides young people and adults who are economically deprived, have disabilities and learning difficulties, and those struggling with mental health and addiction a platform and a voice to express themselves creatively and challenge the negative and restrictive ways in which they are often viewed by society.

We don’t believe in charging fees or auditioning young people, so if you are interested in joining our community at Red Rose Chain or want to find out more about the work we do, please email katy@redrosechain.com

All our workshops are held at The Avenue Theatre, Gippeswyk Hall, Ipswich, IP2 9AF.




“I am lucky enough to be involved in one of the activities organised by Red Rose Chain for vulnerable people of all ages. I cannot praise the company highly enough. No-one is turned away, and as a support worker of one of the members of the group, I have seen first-hand how the quiet, nervous, self-conscious, and sometimes overpowering individuals, become confident, happy, funny participants in the supportive group that has now become our ‘family’.”

Participant

“Opportunity and inclusivity are both fundamental to Let’s Create, the Arts Council’s vision for arts, culture and creativity in England for 2020-30. These are brilliantly embodied by Red Rose Chain and we’re proud to invest in their work to break down barriers and transform perceptions of what young disabled artists can and do achieve.”

Arts Council England



Our groups



Avenue Community Theatre (ACT)

ACT is a company for adults with disabilities, learning difficulties and adults struggling with mental health and addiction. They come together weekly to create thought provoking theatre and film that challenges the way society views vulnerable adults and those who are different.



The Chainers

The Chainers is a company for young people from the ages of 11 to 18, providing creative training at the highest artistic level. We provide a safe and nurturing environment where they gain skills and confidence through performance and volunteering opportunities



The Gold Chainers

The Gold Chainers is a company for young people with additional needs, disabilities and learning difficulties. This group of inspiring young actors are extraordinary in the diversity of their talents and their work is driving innovation in accessible theatre. 








Our Outreach Work

Our community programme also takes our work and ethos into our community, reaching some of the most hardest to reach, disadvantaged and marginalised people.


HMP WARREN HILL

We are proud to work on innovative projects with prisoners and ex-offenders. We have previously worked on successful film and theatre projects with prisoners from HMP Hollesley Bay, HMP Norwich and HMP Whitemoor.

 Currently we work with the residents at HMP Warren Hill, working with an incredible group of life sentence prisoners on drama and heritage projects as part of Warren Hill’s ground-breaking education and rehabilitation programme.

Their play, THE CITIZEN, explored the complexities of redemption and the debate surrounding the life license, drawing parallels between the prisoners’ own experiences of violent crimes and those of the Roman Gladiators who could win their freedom through violence.

“I’ve seen how ground-breaking arts programmes give hardened inmates a voice and a belief in the power of redemption…The Citizen was just one project, in one small prison. But it felt like a beacon of hope.”

Libby Purves, The Times. Click to read the full article.

Under 5s 

We work with disadvantaged young families and refugees, delivering an innovative storytelling programme across children centres in Ipswich.

Funded by The Ragdoll Foundation, our interactive shows for under 5s develop the skills and confidence for parents to read and play with their children. Our latest show, JACK AND THE BEAN STALK engaged with over 100 children and families across 5 weeks. The play then went on to become an interactive online mini series in 2020, helping to support families and children during the COVID pandemic. The series was also accompanied by an activity pack made by young people from the Chainers Youth Theatre!

You can watch JACK AND THE BEANSTALK here


“Both my 3 and 1 year old have loved it every week and we’ve really looked forwards to it each week. It’s been great to see both of their confidence grow as well” 

Parent from Jack in the Beanstalk

Schools 

We work closely with local schools, colleges, pupil referral units and SEND schools across Suffolk, delivering specialist theatre workshops in partnership with our professional theatre productions at The Avenue Theatre.  In 2019, we welcomed over 1000 children to watch our special school performances of our Christmas production, THE MAGIC FISHBONE.

If you are interested in finding out more about our workshops or school performances, get in touch with katy@redrosechain.com


“We work day in, day out with these guys and they are so difficult to reach. And you have reached them today and brought them out of themselves. You gave them light. Words cannot express how grateful we are.” 

Chris Benson, SEN Teacher

  • Our Macchainers are here and warming up!!! https://t.co/AfLRogmm5P
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